The wild search for alternatives to Ning is keeping many social network creators more than busy, especially in the educational sector. Migrating your social network from Ning is a daunting task. Several services have rushed to offer you a “Ning-Importer”, which in many cases just sends out invitation messages. If it does some kind of import, it will probably scramble non-English characters. You also have to check if profile questions are imported properly, in most cases they are not. Multiple choice profile questions? Not so easy, either. At least until now.
Ning to mixxt member import
We have just released a Ning member import that does all that and more. You even get to choose which profile questions are imported and what type of profile question it should be. The Ning-Import to mixxt lets you do some nifty stuff:
- Upload the memberdata.csv file
- Review the memberlist that is going to be imported (user data view of all records)
- Review the profile questions, set question types
- Automatically detect multiple choice answer options (you must select “multiple choice” for the detection to work)
- Add further questions and multiple choice answers on-the-fly
- Sort, rearrange and rename the profile questions
- Automatically join the imported members into your network
- Imported members automatically receive an activation email with a direct link to the activation system
- Soon: custom messages for the activation emails
Your members will be able to login with their email address and choose a new password. Please keep in mind that you might run into legal issues if you import the member data to another service and don’t ask them for confirmation of the Terms of Service as well as the Privacy Policies. This is why the importer will not automatically activate the member accounts, they will have to activate their account themselves with one click. This keeps you on the safe side and respects the privacy of your members without impeding your networking goals.
Give it a try and create your own social network with mixxt! You can learn more about mixxt here: Welcome to a new social networking experience and a reliable Ning-Importer
Importing Ning content
Now this is a different topic altogether. Ning does not offer any content export at the moment. Grabbing content via the RSS feeds is not possible, as most feeds neither contain the full content nor the older posts. This leaves creators in a bit of a pickle. We have tried various options, but Ning will have to follow up on its promise to help creators export their content so we can provide a reliable content import. This leaves us with one major question most social networking alternatives will be asking themselves: What content do Ning network creators want to migrate? Are Ning creators interested in migrating blog posts, events, images or something else?
Ning content importing survey
Many services and developers are wondering what kind of content Ning network creators want to migrate to other solutions. We have come up with a small survey to help developers and services all over the world in providing content import features. Most of all the survey should help the Ning network creators themselves, as they will have a better chance of getting more options to migrate to. The results of the survey will be published (anonymized), so please invest two minutes of your time to tell us about your requirements: The Ning content importing survey
Premium migration service for selected networks
mixxt will help 20 selected networks to migrate to mixxt. The only thing you have to do to apply for this migration is to enter the survey about Ning content importing.
Ning exports and Backup options
Apart from the member data export in the Admin area of your Ning network, you can get a full data backup of your Ning by signing a release form and sending it to Ning via fax/mail: http://help.ning.com/?faq=3772 Your network will be deleted 30 days after requesting the data release, so you will have to close the network. Should you “only” want a backup for security reasons, the options slim down even further. You could automatically crawl and download all pages of your network by using a website archiving system (Windows: HTTrack Mac: SiteCrawler). This will not help you import your content to an alternative service, but it will at least save everything to your hard drive.
We believe mixxt is one of the best services when it comes to micro social networking, collaboration and the organization of content, events and groups. But more important than that is the necessity of free choice. We want you to have choices, one of them being mixxt.
mixxt has been busy lately and we have added several new features in Version 0.21.1 (nikuba):
- Video module: new navigation (next video, previous video)
- Design: New buttons and form elements, inkl. colour selection in the admin panel
- Blog & forum modules: Tagging for blog posts and forum threads
- Forum module: HTML-Upgrade (Formatting, images & files in posts!)
- Forum module: View recent posts while writing your answer
- News module: Add article teasers to your news posts
The most exciting new feature is the all new WYSIWYG-Editor. It is available in nearly every part of your mixxt network:
- blog posts
- news posts
- forum posts
- event & poll descriptions
- HTML/Code boxes on the Main Page
- content pages (CMS module)
The WYSIWYG-Editor not only lets you format your texts, it also lets you add images as well as files to any content. Now you can collaborate even more effectively by adding resources and documents on-the-fly.
Today’s update will certainly delight our mixxt community creators: mixxt has launched detailed statistics to give administrators a deeper insight into the activity and the utilisation of their networks.
We have added a new menu to the network settings of the administration panel called – guess what – “Statistics”. In addition to some general network information (name, domain, launch date, creator), this page provides a detailed membership analysis. The number of members – split into their their different roles (members, admins, mods) – is supplemented by it’s increase over the last week and the last month. As a further indication for activity in the community, it also shows the number of pin board entries on member profiles.
Features – Utilisation & Activity
The main screen shows different values for each active feature in the community (as a reminder: you may choose from Blogs, Videos, Forums, Images, Groups, Wiki, Events, Files, Polls, Content Management and News):
- Number of posts/content plus the number of collections/albums/main categories
- Number of new posts/content by x different members over the last 7 days
- Number of new posts/content of x different members over the last 30 days
- Number of comments
- Recent edits
Disk space & traffic
On top of that, the network statistics provide information on available and used space and traffic:
And now: Go ahead and have a look at your community’s numbers! As always, your feedback is highly appreciated!
In all the excitement about our new global friends, let’s not forget the other great new features that we recently added:
Previously, mixxt users were able to search terms and keywords in some single modules, like the forum, members or content management. The new global search allows users to expand their search from one module to the entire community. In the search results, choosing “search the whole network” next to the search box leads the user to community-wide results. Users can show or hide the results from the modules ( members, forums, images, wiki, events, blogs, files, videos, content management, polls, groups) by clicking the respective icons:
Some operators are available to improve the results:
mixxt & Community – finds any content containg the term mixxt AND the term Community
mixxt | Community – finds any content which either contains the term mixxt OR the term community or both
mixxt -Community – finds any content containing the term mixxt but NOT the term Community
The wiki editor now offers a toolbar with formatting options. This makes the handling of wiki pages much easier for non-techie users and helps them with font sizes, bullet points, headlines, links or anchors. Read more »
According to the announcement in last week’s blogpost, mixxt has added global friendships to it’s communities! All mixxt users may now automatically become friends with all members they added as friends in other networks before. By implementing this feature, the flood of friendship requests and confirmations going along with joining a new network will be reduced to a minimum.
Activating global friendships
We have added a new menu to the mixxt-settings to activate or deactivate “global friendships”. If both users have activated this feature, they will automatically become friends in the networks (only for realname and public nickname networks) they join in the future. Of course, members will always be able to end friendships manually.
Bonus: User A has enabled global friendships and joins a network. User B, an “old” friend of A, already is a member but has not activated global friendships yet. User B then automatically receives a friend request from A, which contains a hint to activate global friendships. This helps us to communicate this new feature more quickly and minimises the amount of friend requests and confirmations for each user very fast.
As we have already pointed out the pros and cons of global friendships in the latest blogpost: Most of our users and admins hold a membership in only one network which means that this feature appears to be needless or might even irritate them. The desire for global friendships mainly arose from barcampers and webworkers, who actively participate in many of our networks. This feature has been a hot topic in many internal discussions and we finally decided to pay tribute and respect to the whole BarCamp and web2.0 scene by making their wishes come true ;)
Become a mixxt fan
mixxt would like to take this opportunity to ask our users, customers, readers, friends and supporters to become a fan of mixxt. We have set up a Facebook page to collect and organise various information about mixxt and the mixxt team. Do you like mixxt? Then click here and become a fan: mixxt page at Facebook. Thank you very much! Your Feedback is highly appreciated.
The lifestream on the main page is the eye-catcher of many mixxt communities. It shows teasers of the latest events and recent changes and leads the visitor to the respective entries or member profiles. Until now – depending on the privacy settings of each community – it automatically displayed new content (like images, forum or blog/posts or wiki pages) as well as new members, friendships or member profile updates from a period of 14 days.
Since last week’s update, the new “Lifestream Administration” allows all admins who have created their own community with mixxt for free to determine what content (selected by content modules) and how many entries and/or days should be displayed. The “Lifestream” entry in the community administration leads to the following view:
In addition to this configuration, we have added a feature which virtually revolutionizes our lifestream: We set up a “Shoutbox” for the administrator, who is now able to post urgent news, comments or instructions straight into the lifestream. This gives the community manager the chance to distribute targeted information to all members in a comfortable but unobtrusive way. Read more »
With today’s update to mixxt version “boogie”, we proudly present our new and often longed-for “groups module”. When you create your own community with mixxt, the implementation of this module provides entirely new ways of collaboration and organisation in the individual networks.
A community within your community
Within the privacy and rights management of each community, admins were given the opportunity to decide which users – “simple” members, moderators or administrators – are allowed to view or edit certain content. From now on, mixxt offers a module to create groups within these communities. Imagine many sub-communities within one greater community, where e.g. content and modules are visible and editable by group members only.
Configuration and employment of the groups module
Since configuration and privacy settings are based on the general network administration, mixxt users and community hosts will surely get on well with setting up a group.
Read more »